The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to embrace and expand the use of technologies district-wide, including in the classroom, have been recognized by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association. HISD was ranked fifth on the top 10 list of the 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey, which is conducted by the two organizations.
“Team HISD’s efforts to transform teaching and learning through the district’s PowerUp initiative have only just begun, and we are honored that our work is being recognized and acknowledged,” said Chief Technology Officer Lenny Schad.
Almost 19,000 HISD students are receiving laptops this month as part of the district’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually give every high school student a computer. The initiative – PowerUp – will not only give students 24-hour access to a laptop and a variety of software but to digital-age instruction that will transform teaching and learning both inside and outside the classroom.
“PowerUp is not about the device,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “This is about creating anytime-anywhere learning for our students so they can have the world at their fingertips. We want to make sure they learn skills that complement technology so they won’t be replaced by technology.”
As HISD prepares to distribute laptops to nearly 17,000 high school students this coming January, the district’s Curriculum Department is preparing an expanded and enhanced set of planning documents to assist teachers at the 11 campuses in PowerUp. PowerUp is the district’s one-to-one initiative that will eventually provide all students a laptop.
“PowerUp is about more than just giving kids computers that they can use in the classroom and at home,” said HISD Secondary Curriculum Director Mike Dorsey. “This is about changing the culture of teaching and learning at HISD by digitizing the classroom and by giving our teachers and students the tools they need.”